A vape coil (also called an atomizer head) is an integral part of any mod and changing it regularly is an important part of maintenance – if you forget to change your coil heads, you risk damaging the entire vape.
How long vape coils last depends largely on how much you are vaping. For most vapers, vape coils last about two weeks.
If you use your e-cigarette more often, you can expect to change your atomizer once a week. If you aren’t using your vape device regularly, you may be able to go a month between coil changes.
So how long do vape coils last? Well, depending on how much you smoke, you’ll likely need a new atomizer head once a month, at minimum.
Putting in a new coil encourages regular cleaning, which keeps your vape pen in peak working condition and improves your overall vaping experience.
What Is a Vape Coil?
A vape coil is a combination of a metal wire and an absorbent wick that lives in a small metal chamber inside your vape tank or e-liquid cartridge.
Wicks come in two forms: cotton or foam. Their job is to soak up the vape juice and bring it into contact with the metal coil wire.
When the device is fired, the metal heats up and atomizes the e-liquid into a mist for inhalation.
Replaceable coils in pod systems usually come prepackaged with fixed absorbent wicks and click into the device easily.
An experienced vaper, however, may prefer a rebuildable vape mod.
Rebuildables come with two recurring costs: the wicks and the replacement coils. In these vaping devices, the metal coil and cotton wicking material are replaced separately.
Generally, you can replace the cotton in a rebuildable a few times before getting a new coil. This will cut costs over the life span of the device.
Rebuildable mods are usually only found at niche stores and require more effort to maintain. Nevertheless, these devices can be a fun challenge if you’re up for it.
Why Do Coils Need to be Replaced So Often?
Simply put, because vape coils are heated rapidly and then cooled down, sooner or later, the metal deteriorates. Also, given that vape coils are closely linked to the wick, the e-liquid eventually coats the coil wire in burnt vape juice.
Built-up residue can clog up the air vents and cause overheating and dry hits. Dry hits are enough to turn people off vaping – they leave a nasty burnt taste in your mouth, and cause really bad breath.
Regularly cleaning your e-cigarette as well as replacing the coil helps to deliver fresher hits.
How to Increase Coil Longevity?
No matter what, e-cigarette coils need replacing eventually. The good news is that there are things you can do to prolong their life span.
- Prime the coils: when you first change the vape coils, make sure the new coil and wick are properly saturated before you start vaping. In a mod with a tank, you may have to add a few drops of e-juice to the wicking material if things aren’t working properly.
- Don’t chain vape: this is when you take a bunch of hits without allowing the coils to cool down or the wick to fully absorb e-juice in between pulls. A dry coil will burn out faster than a properly wicked one, so ideally you should wait 30-60 seconds between hits.
- Keep the tank full: make sure your vape tanks have enough e-liquid. As we said above, dry wicks burn out your coils.
- Clean the coils: if you start getting a burnt taste you can try to clean the coils or replace the cotton in your rebuildable. Not all vape coils can be cleaned, so double-check if you can before you try.
When Do the Coils Need to be Replaced?
So when asking, “how long do vape coils last?” part of the answer has to do with flavor. The quickest way to know if your coils need replacing is by the taste.
From time to time, you’ll get a hit that has a burnt or acrid taste, but this could just be an ‘off’ hit. This is especially noticeable with e-liquids you’re familiar with.
Sometimes, before the burnt taste, you’ll get a weak or ‘off’ flavor – the e-liquid won’t taste as strong or will taste kind of funky. This can indicate the coil is dying, or the cotton needs replacing in your rebuildable.
But if you get a few hits in a row that taste burnt, it means it’s time to change the device coils.
Crackling and spitting can also be the result of dying coils, though occasionally this happens because the coil was not wicked properly. If the coil is a week or two old, it might be heating unevenly and it might just be time to change it.
Low vapor production may also be a result of dying coils, however, before you replace them, check your battery charge first. If the battery is dying, it can contribute to low production and that’s an easier fix than changing the whole coil.
Tank leakage may also be indicative of a bad coil, though this is usually a sign of a damaged tank or a dirty device. If you have an intact and clean device, the next step is replacing the coil.
Lastly, if you hear any gurgling sounds, you should change the coils immediately – vapes should never gurgle. If changing the coils doesn’t fix the problem, you may have a more serious issue on your hands.
One more thing – if you took a break from vaping or used a different mod for a while, you should probably change your coil head before restarting with a device. This is especially true if it has been more than a month since its last use.
So really, how long do vape coils last? The basic rule of thumb is to replace them every one to two weeks or whenever the vapor tastes burnt, whichever comes first.
As you become familiar with your device, you’ll have a better idea of just how frequently you’ll need to change your coil. A lot of this process is trial and error, but eventually, you’ll figure out what works best for you.
Do I need to change coils between flavors?
This is largely a personal preference, but changing coils before switching e-liquids is generally considered ideal.
How long can I vape on bad coils before I need to change them?
Don’t vape on bad coils any longer than you have to. Try to change them immediately.
What if I changed my coils and I am still having issues?
You might have a bigger problem with your vape than just a bad coil. Your only solution would be to head to your vape shop and see if someone there can help you out.